Tuesday, November 28, 2006


The United Nation Development Programme. Does that ring a bell? Here in Guyana, as in other developing countries I am sure, everyone knows the name. It is a respected institution. It played an important part in giving us an orderly national election back in August. Over the years it has assisted in many areas of development including governance, environment, entrepreneurship and ICT. In most developing countries it is UNDP which also represents the UN.
Yet, strangely, in developed countries few know of it or the role it plays. A search of a web site for a major paper in the UK yielded very few stories for 2006 mentioning the UNDP and only two of some substance, neither really saying much about its role.
The UNDP does not have country offices in developed countries for obvious reasons but needs some kind of presence. And the media needs to be a bit more searching and pay more heed to UNDP and other UN agencies that work in the developing world and are so important to them.

UNDP Guyana

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Where is Guyana?

Guyana is a small English -speaking country here on the north-east edge of South America. It is considered as a part of the Caribbean with which it has many ties such as language, culture, economy and cricket.

The climate is tropical being a fairly steady 28 degrees Celsius the year around. There are two rainy seasons.

Most of the population lives on the coastal plain, at or below sea level. The interior is largely undeveloped rain forest and savannah.

The population is largely of African and East Indian origin with substantial number now of mixed ancestry.

There is a small but significant number of Amerindians, some Chinese and a few of other races.

Religion is important to most Guyanese. About half the population is Christian, the rest is mainly Hindu or Muslim with a significant number of Baha'is.

The attractions of Guyana include her people and the unspoilt natural wonders of the country such as Kaieteur - a magnificant watefall (that is my son standing in front of it).

Kaieteur National Park
Guyana and the Environment


Monday, November 20, 2006

Planned obsolescence (and recycling)

This means deliberately making something so that it will last only a limited time so that the owner will have to buy another. This is a common practice at the present time. I am convinced that this is short-sighted and that making goods with a longer life will help conserve global resources and reduce global warming. Great amounts of energy and resources go into producing manufactured goods especially things like cars, computers, cell phones etc but also items like the humble dinner plate, mug etc. Of course this is less advantageous for technologies which are immature and rapidly advancing.


This is related to the practice of recycling. The item may have reached the end of its useful life but the parts may still have life as recycled parts or the materials could be recycled if it were carefully designed.


In Guyana we have far to go in recycling, indeed we have scarcely made a start. There is nowhere to take recycled items such as plastic or metal. Garbage is not separated. Indeed you are fortunate if it is collected. Being a small country does not help as we do not benefit from economies of scale. However, there is work being done on this and things are changing. A bit more globalisation is needed in this field...

Open source software

A great alternative to propriatary software with high license costs. Reliable and free of viruses. Having used it almost exclusively at work for years both as a desktop and a server I would recommend it. We started using Linux in 1996 for servers. Soon many who currently use unlicensed copies of software - often without knowing - will be faced with difficult choices. Open source software is a good choice if it can do what is needed, and it usually can.

Guyana has an active Linux user group - GLUG.

Useful links:

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Solving the problems in society

Suppose, just suppose everyone (virtually) was trustworthy. What would life be like? It would be so different that it takes a while to identify how many things would change. No need for security, locks, multiple signatures, guards, bars etc. Crops planted would not be stolen. Children would be safe on the streets. No corruption, no bribes. People would do the jobs they are paid for. No litter. Productivity would soar. Waste would drop right down. So why aren't we discussing how we can educate children to be like this? What can effect this kind of change?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Nobody will read this

Well not quite. I have read it.

But really there are around 100 million blogs and a 1000 million internet users. From personal experience I would guess most users do not read blogs. Some have a few favourite blogs. Very few read many blogs. Bloggers cannot expect to become famous now.

I don't mind. If a few people such as family members or friends get some valuable from these pages that's fine with me. Objective achieved.

Of course I could start throwing some keywords around like crazy to get some hits with Google but it would only get buried at search page 3245...